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Big Sur International Marathon crowned America’s Rave Race in RaceRaves March Lunacy tournament

Coastal California’s bucket-list favorite “blew away” 63 challengers—including the nation’s largest marathon in the final—to capture the title

(Photo: BSIM Facebook page)

Turns out there’s no running like Running on the Ragged Edge of the Western World.

The Big Sur International Marathon, a bucket-list favorite of runners around the world, outmuscled the TCS New York City Marathon on Monday to capture the championship in the second annual RaceRaves March Lunacy tournament. Thousands of runners across the country cast their votes to propel Big Sur to the title of America’s Rave Race for 2018.

To give avid runners a tournament of their own, RaceRaves created a “March Madness for races” featuring 64 top U.S. road and trail races of all distances. Events in four regions were seeded based on the number of 2017 finishers, with the exception of last year’s Final Four races which each earned a #1 seed. Voting was conducted in four rounds over three weeks, with races that earned the most votes advancing to the next round.

This year’s March Lunacy tournament lived up to its name, with five double-digit seeds reaching the Sweet Sixteen. But when the dust settled, the Final Four featured an epic battle of national heavyweights and one spirited underdog.

Fresh off its quarterfinal triumph over East Coast rival Boston, New York held on to defeat fellow World Marathon Major Chicago in a hard-fought semifinal matchup, while Big Sur closed the book on Little Rock’s Cinderella story.

In vanquishing New York for the title, Big Sur capped a dominant tournament performance and emphatically showed that in the world of running events, bigger isn’t necessarily better. BSIM’s resounding victory also echoed its current rating of 4.9/5.0 across 50+ reviews on RaceRaves.

“We’re excited by this recognition and grateful to all our finishers and supporters who voted us America’s Rave Race,” said Doug Thurston, Race Director & Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. “We appreciate RaceRaves’ creativity in providing this opportunity to showcase our event, and look forward to producing another world-class experience for our athletes later this month.”

Big Sur’s calling card is its picturesque course, which earns a perfect 5.0 rating for scenery on RaceRaves. The hilly, challenging route starts among the redwoods of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and follows the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean north to its finish line in the town of Carmel. Along the way runners are entertained by taiko drummers, whimsical mile markers and a tuxedo-clad piano player at the midway point on the iconic Bixby Bridge.

Like last year’s inaugural March Lunacy champion, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, Big Sur boasts broad appeal with runners across the country as well as deep relationships and tremendous support within the local community.

The Big Sur International Marathon will welcome 10,000 entrants as it celebrates its 33rd presentation on April 29, 2018. The event offers seven distances for runners of all levels (marathon, marathon relay, 21 miler, 11 miler, 12K, 5K and 3K) plus its popular “Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge” for runners who also complete this month’s Boston Marathon. Limited entries remain for the 5K and 3K distances.

“We’re thrilled to congratulate the Big Sur team on its well-deserved win in our second annual March Lunacy tournament,” said RaceRaves Co-founder Mike Sohaskey. “And we’re excited once again to showcase the diversity of quality running events across the country. The enthusiastic response to this year’s tournament reaffirms RaceRaves as the premier resource to help runners of all levels discover the best races around the world, from well-known events to hidden gems.”

The final March Lunacy bracket and tournament results can be found here.


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